Knights honor James Wells at exemplification ceremony
CHARLESTON — The fourth degree Knights of Columbus celebrated their 56th Exemplification at the Church of the Nativity on Oct. 11.
Each year one Knight is selected to be honored at the exemplification. This year, James Wells was honored for his service to the fraternal organization.
The event began with a Mass and was followed by a luncheon. Forty-three candidates became fourth degree Knights, and the day marked the first time two ceremonies were held in the state. It also was the first exemplification held in Charles ton in decades.
Wells joined the Knights of Columbus in June 2006. He became a fourth degree member, or the visible part of the Knights, in February 2007. He’s been a member of the honor guard and currently is an officer in the council and the assembly.
Wells said he became interested in joining the Knights after deciding to be active within the church again.
“A eucharistic minister came by to give me communion,” he said. “I broke my leg on that day and the minister still came by to give communion. He was talking about this great brotherhood, the Knights … then 18 days later, my father passed away.”
In his search for fellowship, Wells found the Knights of Columbus, and said he believes his father is in a better place and is pleased with him.
“Before his death, my father was in a lot of pain, and he’s not in pain now, but I know he’s proud of me for the work that I’ve done with the Knights,” he said.
“My brothers were always at whatever function I needed them at, treating me like one of their own,” he said. “No different from anyone else.”
Although Wells is one of the few Knights in a wheelchair, he has been diagnosed with brittle bone disease, he is a very active member who regularly participates in the Right to Life March and Rally held annually in Columbia. He also serves the concession stands at Citadel games.
Wells attended Nativity School and graduated from the old St. Andrews High School. He attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he received degrees in political science and history.
After college he and a friend started their own company, but he had to leave the business because of his physical condition.
Roosevelt F. Cummings, district master of the fourth degree, said that Wells was chosen because of his strong character.
“I saw in him what I would like to see in every Knight: enthusiasm and the willpower to use your mind,” he said. “He’s been an officer, been on special committees and a contact person, and he gets the job done.”
Wells was grateful to be selected.
“I’m very touched by the fact that he chose me,” he said. “I’m grateful because I’ve done a lot of hard work for the Knights. I am grateful for being honored at such a young age.”
Cummings emphasized the significance of the honor, explaining that only one man is chosen once a year out of 3,000 fourth degree Knights in South Carolina.